Have you ever considered how important it is to manage and optimise your marketing budget?
Without understanding your budget, your campaigns could easily fall apart.
If you don’t know how much you can spend or how to spend it effectively, your marketing efforts will not be successful, as you may not allocate the right budget if you don’t plan ahead.
The amount of money you have to spend is central to your marketing strategy, as you need to know exactly where to plug your money to keep things on target.
This post will help you to manage your budget according to the needs of each campaign, helping you to get the most out of every penny.
So, let’s dive in…
What Is Your Marketing Budget?
Your marketing budget essentially outlines the sum of money allocated to anything related to marketing across your company.
Put simply, these are the costs accumulated when carrying out tasks that promote your business.
These marketing related tasks can include anything from paid advertising to hiring a new team of marketing staff, as there are several areas to manage in terms of costs.
Traditionally the task of promoting business was more paper-based, however with the world moving online more each day, marketing has evolved to more digital ways of promotion such as:
- Social media
- Influencer marketing
- Email campaigns
- Paid ad’s
- Customer surveys
Having multiple avenues in which to market your business means one thing – you must manage it correctly.
So, with that in mind, let’s explore what you can do to manage your marketing budget…
How to Manage Your Marketing budget
Whilst marketing on the whole helps to promote your business, your marketing budget has one main purpose.
Having a clear marketing budget helps communication between your marketing team, and other teams in your company so that they know how the budget will be spent.
Your marketing budget also allows you to see if you are getting any return on your marketing spend, because if you’re not, something needs to change.
So, we have narrowed down marketing management strategies into a list of essentials to ensure you and your team are clear on exactly how to keep things on track.
Set Clear Marketing Goals
Setting clear marketing goals should be your first priority, as without goals and objectives, there is nothing to base your budget on!
Failing to plan is planning to fail, so before the budget is even mentioned, you and your team need to identify the main goal of your campaign.
For example, if your marketing goal is to increase traffic to your site to get more customers to the point of purchase, what are you going to do to make this happen?
You may wish to increase your social media posts linking off to your website, or create a time-sensitive discount code to get your target audience interested in your product or service.
As marketing manager, it’s your responsibility to ensure that there is a solid marketing campaign plan setting out goals and objectives, as this helps you to build your budget.
Once you have identified your goal, you will know exactly where the money should be put to use.
If a campaign or specific task will help you reach your goal it should be enhanced with financial support to ensure its success, and if it won’t help to reach your goal, discard it from your plan altogether!
Determine your Budget and Keep Track of Expenses
As marketing manager you are not in charge of company finances, however it’s an important part of your role to decide what money to use and where.
For example, you may find that your target audience interacts best with your content on LinkedIn and Instagram over your blog content, so you should plan to make changes based on this.
Whether this is hiring more social media executives to produce high-quality engaging content for these channels, or dedicating a larger portion of your budget to really nail your social media strategy.
By keeping track of where your money is being spent for every campaign, this shows you are on top of everything.
However, sometimes it may not be as easy, as some companies may wish to keep costs low across the board. Therefore, within your budget you should outline how important the costs are to hitting your targets and reaching those all important objectives.
In addition to this, don’t let any extra costs slip through the gaps without mentioning them first, as this will make your marketing budget much harder to manage.
You could assign a team member to check for any additional costs, to ensure you are getting the exact budget you need and to avoid any problems further down the line.
Choose Your Marketing Platforms
Once you have determined a budget, it’s time to choose the platforms you wish to use.
You need to identify which channels are worth investing your money in, and which ones aren’t.
The platforms you choose should align well with the marketing goals you and your team have already set out, as some platforms will be more suitable than others.
If we take the earlier example of driving traffic to your website, email marketing or SEO may be more useful to achieve this compared to direct marketing such as handing out flyers.
The next step is to rank your list of potential platforms in priority order, to determine which ones align best with your objectives.
Your list may consist of options such as:
- PPC (Pay-per-click)
- Influencer marketing
- Email marketing
- Trade shows
- Affiliate programmes
All of which will depend on your specific marketing campaign goal. Therefore it’s important to be very specific about your choices, and outline exactly how many platforms you will be using.
How to Optimise Your Marketing Budget
Optimising your budget helps you to get the most out of your money, but it can be difficult to know where to start.
For example, it may be that you have had to cut your budget down or need to squeeze as much out of your budget as possible, meaning you and your team need to come up with new methods of marketing.
This can be a task.
Therefore, it’s essential to assess exactly how well your chosen tactics are performing, to see if your budget should be focused there, or on new methods.
Use Your Data
One way to optimise your marketing budget is to pay close attention to your data to help you understand what is working and what isn’t.
By identifying what is working for your business, you can then begin to cut out the types of marketing platforms that aren’t helping you reach your goal.
In order to determine the most successful platforms it’s useful to gather key performance indicators, or KPI’s, such as conversion rate and return on investment (ROI) and analyse them on a regular basis.
For example, if LinkedIn has the highest conversion rate among your social media platforms, then concentrate more of your efforts here.
This data should also highlight which platforms aren’t as successful, and this ensures you aren’t wasting time and money on a platform that your audience aren’t using.
In turn, this gives you more wiggle room in your budget to try out new channels or to use the money elsewhere.
Repurpose Existing Content
If you’re savvy, your existing content can be used again and again.
If you don’t have the budget to create new content all of the time, why not try reworking the content you have already created.
Even if you do have the budget, there is no shame in reusing existing content. In fact it makes your message clear, consistent, and available to an even wider audience as you’re increasing your visibility with those who might have missed your content the first time round.
So, how do you start repurposing existing content?
This can be done by slicing up long form blogs into short and snappy LinkedIn posts, or chopping videos up into reels, stories, and shorts for Instagram and YouTube. The content is already there for you to take advantage of, you just need to get creative and give people a different way to consume the information.
Although the content will contain the same information, the format will be completely different giving it a new lease of life.
Equally, repurposing content into a new format isn’t the only way to save a bit of time and money, as going back to old posts and making changes can do the trick too!
If you have blog posts sitting on your website which are lacking in engagement, go back and make changes to make each post more relevant to your target audience. This could include adding improved imagery and infographics, or simply improving the copy or internal links.
It’s useful to know that this can help save some of your budget by recycling material, rather than spending all of your money on creating new content.
Optimise Your Marketing Funnel
Whilst consumer behaviour is constantly changing, you need to review and update your marketing funnel accordingly.
You can do this by analysing information such as behaviour flow, landing pages, and exit pages in line with conversions, as this will help you to find better areas to nurture your audience so that they make a purchase.
For example, if users visit your product page but leave without reaching the point of purchase (or even getting close to it), you need to think about what type of content you can add to help encourage that purchase.
Your target audience may be attracted to your product or service, but anything from the price point to brand values may put them off.
To resolve this you can:
- Include a discount code
- Retarget the campaign to your audience
- Offer a free trial or sample
Optimising your existing marketing efforts has a knock-on effect on your marketing budget, as updating your marketing funnel can save you money in the long run.
It may be as simple as adding in a discount code, or changing some of your landing page content in order to suit your customer base, meaning you don’t have to use a large portion of your budget.
If your funnel is already working, and page visitors are reaching that purchase point, this means your money can go elsewhere!
Switch to Digital Marketing
One final way to optimise your marketing budget is to shift some of your marketing efforts online.
As we know, businesses are utilising online platforms to get up close and personal with their target audience.
For example, using social media and paid ads allows you to be at the forefront of consumers’ minds, as when they scroll through their LinkedIn or Instagram feed, your latest campaign is there.
But let’s go into a little bit more detail.
There are various forms of digital marketing, however one of the older, more reliable, routes is to use email marketing.
This tactic is still thriving, and by creating a well-designed email newsletter you can’t go far wrong!
But how does it optimise your budget?
Firstly, email marketing saves you spending money on direct paper marketing which includes print and postage costs.
Instead, if you spend time creating personalised and targeted emails to your audience the first time around, this will lead to an increase in organic conversions.
Social media and content marketing are also effective for campaigns, and although this may cost in terms of hiring new staff (social media executives, content writers etc), it is well worth the initial investment.
Social channels can help you to keep costs low, as you can sign up to platforms for free and use a lot of the features such as alerts, stories, reels, links, and customer support.
You can also target your ideal audience, and appeal to your customer base wherever they may be by using analytics to work out your most effective channels (as we mentioned above).
Moving on to content marketing, which involves creating valuable pieces of content such as blogs, articles, videos, and infographics. Essentially, stuff that your audience will find useful and be interested in.
You can then couple this tactic with social media by sharing your content on social media channels, for example linking off to your blog from your social posts, to drive more people to your website.
So, rather than pushing out leaflets and designing billboards, why not try the digital route, as this can be more relevant to your audience and can help minimise your marketing budget.
How to Manage and Optimise Your Marketing Budget
So, there we have it.
In this post we have discussed the importance of managing and optimising your marketing budget in order to use every penny effectively.
While some of these methods may seem pretty straightforward, it’s often the basics that are most reliable in producing results.
In order to get the most out of your budget and avoid any additional costs slipping through the gaps, it’s important to plan where every single penny is going to be spent and provide a reason as to why.
This will help to ensure that you and your team understand how much is necessary for each part of your campaign, and outline the other low-cost ways to boost your campaigns.
Here at Canny we have extensive experience in all things marketing, from content creation, to dedicated marketing resources, to help you get the most out of your marketing activities.
Get in touch with us today, and let’s start optimising your marketing efforts, to save you money and reach your goals.